Saturday, August 10, 2013

How To Clean and Season Old, Rusty Cast Iron Skillets

How To Clean and Season Old, Rusty Cast Iron Skillets
What You Need

The end chunk of a potato (enough to be able to hold firmly)...

Course salt
A rusty cast iron skillet
A little vegetable oil (canola or olive will do)

Gloves (optional, but recommended)


1. Set your cast iron skillet in the sink and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Kosher salt in the bottom.

2. Slice off the top of a raw potato. Make sure to leave enough of the potato so you can grab it easily. Use the cut end of your potato to scour the skillet, grinding the salt into any rusty or crusty spots. As you work, rinse off the skillet (and rust!) and add more salt if it requires more scrubbing.

3. Once all of the rust has vanished (Yay!), dry your skillet with a clean towel.

4. If you don’t need to re-season your skillet, just add a few drops of oil to its surface. You can be a tad heavy handed with the oil, as it will mostly just absorb. Rub the oil into your skillet’s surface, that way it’s ready to go for you next cooking adventure.

Caring for your skillet
Never, ever, ever wash your skillet with soap again. Don’t even let a drop near it. The soap will wear off your fresh coating of oil and it will likely make your next meal taste a tad sudsy. After you finish cooking with your skillet, immediately rinse it out to remove any burned on bits. If you need more scrubbing, let it cool, and then use salt and a coarse scrubbing pad to get rid of any burned bits. Don’t let your skillet soak for long periods of time, and never put it in the dishwasher.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, if you 'inherit' or find an old cast iron beauty that's in bad shape, it's not a bad idea to put the thing into the dishwasher one time, and make that the last time. You'll actually be starting from scratch, just like seasoning a wok. Wash it by hand after you take it out of the dishwasher (also make THAT the last time you use soap on it), coat it with oil, set it on high on a burner for 5 minutes, then put it into an empty hot oven for a while. As you use the pan, spray it with a little cooking spray and even it out with a paper towel before you put the pan away.



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